Home' Breeding and Racing : Issue 117 September 2014 Contents 22 FOR DAILY INDUSTRY NEWS UPDATES VISIT WWW.BREEDINGRACING.COM
ASTUTE AGENT OFF AND RUNNING (CONT)
The amount of research Louis puts into his
job is staggering . The dedicated Frenchman
spends several weeks visiting farms in the
lead-up to the sales season. He researches the
pedigrees of every yearling at the major sales.
He also researches each farm’s stakes-winners
strike rate and the nicks and crosses of every
yearling selected on type.
Suffice it to say his clients are high net
worth individuals from both Australia and
overseas. In his first year, Louis bought some
nine yearlings at an average of just $80,000.
But business is growing – and there’s plenty
to look forward to.
Currently in training with Peter Snowden,
the filly Magic Diamond (Not a Single Doubt
– Jolie) was purchased by Astute Bloodstock
for $100,000. She looks like she will be ready
to run in some of the earliest two-year-old
Some higher profile purchases this year
include the Street Cry – Starfish colt (bought
in conjunction with James Bester for
$320,000 at Magic Millions) and the High
Chaparral – Alagant Satin colt (NZ$550,000
from NZ Bloodstock), both superb specimens
from very good families.
The Street Cry colt, now named Woolf Cry,
will be targeting the Breeder’s Plate while the
High Chaparral colt is more likely to run as a
three-year-old over classic distances. “I have
high hopes for these horses,” says Louis, “as
you need to sell good horses immediately to
put your name in lights.”
Leading bloodstock agent James Bester,
who collaborated with Louis on Woolf Cry’s
purchase, has a high opinion of his peer:
“He’s multi-talented, Louis. He conducts
“By late 2012 he
decided the time
was right to strike out
himself well, he’s a well-spoken, well-
educated young man... I would say that he
is better educated than what is the norm for
the bloodstock industry, and by that I don’t
mean only academic education... but he has
a well-rounded, old-fashioned European
background, which will help him in his
communications with clients.” James also
adds that Louis has a better understanding of
the international racing and breeding scene
than many others.
In the bloodstock game, results, reputation
and relationships are everything . “The most
important things are success and integrity.
You want to provide people with good horses
that will bring them a lot of fun. Owning a
good horse is an uplifting experience that
really moves people. It is an expensive toy but
unlike a sail boat, a race car or a polo team,
good racehorses do provide good returns.”
Since the French horses Americain and
Dunaden won the Melbourne Cup in 2010
and 2011 the bloodstock business between
both countries has certainly increased, which
is why Louis still spends most of August and
December back in his homeland.
“There is a lot of business being done
[between the two countries],” agrees Louis.
“One of Australia’s best stallions Redoute’s
Choice shuttles to France - it tells you a lot.”
As we know, Australian buyers have been
very active in recent years buying stayers to
import, and have met with much success.
However, Louis believes the tried horse
market out of Europe is currently very
inflated and for the time being he is staying
focused on other areas.
As an accomplished rider, Louis brings
something to the table few, if any, other
bloodstock agents can: the ability to know, just
from watching a horse move, how it is likely
to feel under saddle. And it’s this, coupled
with his extensive hands-on experience, that
he feels will give him a real edge in selecting
top-line racehorses. Louis is aiming squarely
for Stakes success – in his view, anything below
that doesn’t really count.
It’s a rarefied world he moves in, but
Louis le Metayer doesn’t take any of it for
granted. “Look, I think I’m very fortunate to
be doing what I do. I meet amazing people
that I would never have without the horses.
And I get to follow a racing circuit all around
the world and trade an animal that I really
understand and admire deeply. It’s a pretty
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